Book Dash Plus - "A Book a Day"

Book Dash, World Reader and Goethe-Institut:

In February 2017, groups of writers and illustrators from all over Sub-Saharan Africa will come together at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg to create beautiful African children’s books within just twelve hours. This project is the result of a fantastic collaboration between the Goethe-Institut, Book Dash and Worldreader.

Book Dash is a local not-for-profit organisation that has made it their mandate to make it easier for African children to access culturally-relevant books by gathering volunteers to create these unique books that can be read online (, as well as printing thousands of physical copies to give to children. Worldreader is an international NGO whose mission is “to create a world where everyone is a reader” ( At the Goethe-Institut, it is our mandate to “support the local cultural scenes and strengthen pan-African dialogue through the arts” ( This is a significant partnership that we feel benefits all three organisations, the creative volunteers, and ultimately, Africa’s children.

Call for applicants:

The Goethe-Institut sent out a call for applicants (writers and illustrators) in October 2016 to all Sub-Saharan African countries, and we received 98 applications in return. A jury then selected twelve candidates, of which six were writers and six illustrators. Our team consists of men and women from Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. The writers are: Edna Gicovi, Jennie Marima, Fortune Tazvivinga, Nahida Esmail, Ndidi Enenmor and Linda Nabasa.  The illustrators are: Adrien Folly-Nostron, Mauvine Were, Daté Adomayakpo, Naomi Kariuki and Yihenew Woku. Congratulations to all successful applicants!

Prior to the Book Dash, where creatives will work in diverse teams to create books in one day, participants will be treated to a two-day workshop with internationally-acclaimed German author Kirsten Boie and illustrator Barbara Scholz. These two days should provide participants with critical insight into the writing and illustrating processes behind creating a successful children’s book, as well as provide a platform for dialogue between creatives from different Sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa.

The schedule

Thursday, 23 February:  Day 1 of workshop with Kirsten Boie and Barbara Scholz

Friday, 24 February: Day 2 of workshop with Kirsten Boie and Barbara Scholz

Friday evening: Social get-together for all participants and facilitators

Saturday, 25 February: Book Dash: each team creates a children’s book!

Monday, 27 February: School visit

Tuesday, 28 February: School visit

Book Dash:
On Saturday, 25 February 2017 the Book Dash will take place. Each team will consist of a writer and illustrator. There will also be designers and editors to assist the teams. Each team has twelve hours to complete their book. There will be various challenges: working together, choosing an appropriate level of difficulty, telling a story in a fun and exciting way, the pressure of time, etc. The books created will then be published and made available on the Book Dash website ( for everyone to freely read, print out, translate and distribute.

School visits:

This event is not just an exercise in teamwork and creativity, but a way of giving back to society and an investment in the future of our children. After the Book Dash, the writers and illustrators will also visit different schools and hold workshops with the learners in order to further encourage literacy and literature.

For more information, please contact Nicole Meyer at the Goethe-Institut on +27 (0)11 537 2949.